By Amy K. Andrews
Do you have your holiday list ready? Good. Now is the time to begin making gifts for every person you adore. In addition to your undoubtedly creative ideas, here are my top three sweet, special, and simple gifts ideas for you to steal and adapt as you wish.
The Love Letter
This idea does not only apply to your spouse, partner or significant other, dear reader. Although it works great for them, too, I encourage you to give the gift of a love letter to anyone with whom you feel affinity. Your parents. Your grandparents. Your boss. The woman at the post office or the neighbor next door. All of your friends would love to hear how much you appreciate them and enjoy the relationship you share. So write away. If you have innumerable people on your list, I suggest one letter a day. If there are just a special few, try for one a week. Buy some nice stationary, a good pen, and go for it. Be sure to include special quotes, as applicable, or a story that allows the reader to walk down memory lane. They will love it.
One of the greatest gifts to receive is something you can actually use. Everyone eats, so everyone (well, almost everyone) cooks. I love to dress up everyday staples, like olive oil or sugar, and then gift the item in a special jar that I embellish. For example, this year I am making chili oil, a staple in many London restaurants, but a rarity here in the States. It is relatively easy; you only need to add crushed red peppers and one whole dry chili to your favorite extra virgin olive oil. Let sit in a cool, dark place for a month, then pour the spicy oil through a funnel into your favorite glass jar and it’s ready to give. If you prefer something sweeter, slice open a few vanilla bean pods, immerse them in a jar of sugar, and by the time the holidays are here you will have a lovely homemade gift of sweetness.
Relaxation in a Jar
For all the ladies in your life, I can easily recommend giving them a gift that will help them unwind. By infusing sugar with a natural oil, like coconut, along with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, you can create a homemade scrub that is the perfect accompaniment to any bath time. Again, purchase a cute jar to house the scrub, add a decorative label, or better yet, make one yourself by painting on a swash of chalkboard paint, and voila! You are ready to give.
These are just a few of my favorites, but there are innumerable homemade ideas to help you create the perfect present for all of the wonderfully special people in your life. Just remember to start preparations now so you can enjoy the holiday season. And remember that any gift you give from your heart, dear reader, will be perfect.
Amy is a woman of wellness, a writer, and the winner of Seattle’s Ultimate Housewife contest. As a liberated Texan, she has lived on both coasts, and on the high streets of London. Most days you can find her teaching Pilates to her beloved clients, editing her memoir, An Expat’s Wife, swiffering her home, or writing thank-you notes. At this very moment she is undoubtedly cuddling with her wife and cat.